As we were leaving a picnic, my daughter spoke up, “I want to go with Grandma.” I piped up, “Ah, but does Grandma want you to go with her?”
That’s when my firstborn asked, “Mom, did you THINK about what you said?”
She was referring to the sign we had posted in our home that read, “Did you THINK? Is what you say . . .”
True: Do we exaggerate the grievances we have against each other? Do we look clearly at the issue, or are we tainted by previous grievances?
Helpful: Do your words support the people around you? Do they offer solutions to problems? Do you bring comfort in sadness? Teasing can be fine; sarcasm, not so much.
Inspiring: Do our words encourage others? Or do we squelch their dreams by putting down their ideas?
Necessary: Does it have to be said? Do we speak when silence would be best? If someone is feeling guilty, do we add to their burden?
Kind: Nice doesn’t mean kind. Sometimes kindness means saying hard things because someone needs to be called to account. It’s looking out for their best interests. But do you speak the truth in love or do you intentionally cut someone down?
Each day is another chance to live this truth: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—THINK about such things” (Philippians 4:8).